Christians in Northeast Syria put out a desperate cry for help on Saturday after ISIS crossed the Khabur River and continued their campaign of terror into more Christian villages. Those who have taken up arms to defend themselves have little ammunition and few weapons. ISIS has plenty of heavy munitions, rockets, and vehicles.
This urgent message was received by the European Syriac Union on Saturday:
Urgent—ISIS attacking Syriac-Assyrians now. Began in early hours today in syria. Shelling tel tamr. Crossing khabur river to south of tel tamr between two villages. Street fighting in tel nasari. 17 syriac military council fighters surrounded in tel maghasneh. Heavy weapons & troops streaming from mount abdul aziz for major assault on entire area. Allied air strikes urgently needed. Syriac military council asks for international help.
This original article was published at Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children
Though some reports of the Christians that were captured in the last go-around of fighting said they were released, only 19 of them have been granted freedom thus far. Anywhere from 272 to 300 or more Christians were captured in the ISIS march along the Khabur River between February 23 and early March. This new campaign threatens even more villages.
AINA – Assyrian International News Agency – reported:
ISIS crossed to the northern side of the Khabur river in the Hasaka province of Syria At 2 A.M. this morning and launched fierce attacks on several villages. ISIS fighters crossed through the village of Tel Maghas and Tel Nasri and began fighting with Kurdish and Assyrian fighters near the Arab village of Rgouba, which is near Tel Maghas, where Kurdish fighters maintain a checkpoint.
Heavy weapons and troops are streaming from the ISIS stronghold at Mount Abdul Aziz for a major assault on the entire area. The Syriac Military Council has asked for international aid.
ISIS appears to be pushing to take control of Tel Tamar, a strategic town in the area.
There were reports that 17 Assyrian fighters were surrounded in a village called Tel Maghas, and were experiencing heavy shelling from ISIS. Several other Christian villages were also being shelled.
In an interview by AINA with one of the captives, he stated that had not been mistreated yet, but ISIS had demanded they pay the Jizya tax. When asked how much that tax was, the ISIS members said they wouldn’t collect it but if the Christians were caught again they would be killed. They are still in captivity, so their fate is unknown. Though some news agencies reported they were released, that information was incorrect, according to the European Syriac Union.
ISIS has rampaged across the Assyrian region, destroying ancient archeological sites, capturing Christians, slaughtering people of every ethnic or religious view that is not of their own. It is their plan to eradicate all vestiges of Christianity and civilization from the region.
“In destroying Assyrian archaeological and historical sites, ISIS is striking at the very root of Assyrian civilization, erasing all traces of their heritage and extirpating them from their lands…” AINA